Salbutamol is the active ingredient of Vari-Salbutamol syrup (Nappi
code:700920-001), Venteze inhaler (Nappi code:775363-006), Venteze CFC-free
inhaler (Nappi code:711213-001), Venteze tablets (Nappi code:775398-004/012 and
775401-005/013), Venteze respirator solution (Nappi code:835994-007), Venteze
syrup (Nappi code:775452-009/017), Ventolin syrup (Nappi code:775274-012),
Ventolin CFC-free inhaler (Nappi code:817333-002, 775312-002, 775320-005),
Ventolin Accuhaler (Nappi code:857289-004), Ventolin respirator solution (Nappi
code:775339-008), Ventolin nebules (Nappi code:791229-009, 791237-001), Ventolin
injection (Nappi code:775347-019) and Ventolin IV infusion solution (Nappi
Salbutamol is a bronchodilator. Bronchodilators are drugs that relax the
muscles around the airways, helping the airways to open up, making it easier to
In South Africa salbutamol is registered as a bronchodilator to control
reversible airway obstruction caused by bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis and
emphysema. It is also used to prevent bronchospasm in exercise-induced asthma,
and to suppress uterine contraction in premature labour.
When using the inhaler, it should be shaken well prior to use. Wait at least
1 minute between inhalations of the medicine. It is advised to prime the inhaler
before use by releasing 4 test sprays in the air, away from the face.
Salbutamol may leave a bad or unusual taste in your mouth. Rinse your mouth
with water after each inhalation to remove taste and to minimise dryness of the
mouth and throat.
Do not exceed the recommended dose. If your usual dose does not provide
relief, or if relief does not last at least 3 hours, medical advice should be
How does salbutamol work?
Salbutamol relaxes bronchial smooth muscle by stimulating beta2 receptors.
When fenoterol stimulates these receptors it causes the muscles in the airways
to relax, making breathing easier.
Drug schedule: schedule 2, schedule 3 and schedule 4
Available as: salbutamol is available as syrup, tablets, inhaler,
accuhaler, respirator solution, nebules, injection, IV infusion solution
What does it do? Salbutamol widens/opens the airways to make breathing
Overdose risk: low
Dependence risk: low
Is salbutamol available as a generic? yes
Is salbutamol available on prescription only? no and yes (depending on
Onset of effect: this depends on the formulation used. Within 5 - 15
minutes with the inhaler; within 60 minutes when taken orally.
Duration of action: this depends on the formulation used. Up to 6
hours with the inhaler; up to 8 hours with the oral solution.
Dietary advice: take the oral formulations with or after a meal.
Stopping this medicine: do not stop treatment with this drug without
consulting your doctor. The original symptoms may recur.
Consult your doctor before using this drug if:
- you have a thyroid problem
- you have diabetes
- you have a heart disease
- you have high blood pressure
- you have glaucoma
Pregnancy: avoid. Potential risk to the foetus has been reported.
Consult your doctor before use, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.
Breastfeeding: presumed safe. Speak to doctor before use.
Porphyria: this medication is safe for use.
Infants and children: a reduced dose is advised.
Elderly: caution is advised in the elderly as side effects are more
likely to occur.
Driving and hazardous work: caution is advised as use of this
medication may lead to tremors. Avoid such activities until you know how this
medication affects you.
Alcohol: no special precautions need to be taken.
Possible side effects
| Side effect
|| Consult your doctor
|| Only if severe
|| In all cases|
|blood pressure decreased
||may reduce the effect of salbutamol and worsen broncho-constriction |
||digoxin levels may be decrease|
||blood potassium levels may be lowered|
||a dangerous rise in blood pressure may occur|
||increased risk of cardiac-related side effects|
A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large
overdose, seek emergency medical attention.
Inhaler, adults: 1 to 2 inhalations every 4 to 6 hours. For the prevention of
exercise-induced broncho-spasm: 2 inhalations 15 minutes before exercise.
Salbutamol is taken by some as an alternative to clenbuterol for purposes of
This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for
informational purposes only.
Please consult a physician for specific treatment and